Kicking off 2019: One word, one song, and the same purpose

David O'Hagan
5 min readJan 8, 2019


Credit: Donna Schuller

I spent most of December in Canada visiting family (old and new) and friends (old and new). Interestingly, it was the young nieces and nephews, and the old friendships that generated the most inspiration, joy, and momentum as the year wrapped up.

For 2018, my word was Push, my song was In Awe from Hollyn, and my purpose was to Help others enthusiastically see solutions.

This shiny and eager-to-be-unboxed new year of 2019 will build on last year, with new, improved, and more enthusiastic approaches to life. So let’s do this!

One word

My word for 2019: Curiosity

This word kept popping up for me in 2018. And I started using #staycurious on many social media posts last year, since curiosity is nearly always appropriate.

I love the word curiosity, and want to embody it in everything I do, both personally and professionally, and help others see the value in it as well.

I yearn for a world where every person is recklessly curious!

My curiosity approach for the year is two-pronged:

  • Myself: I will push myself to dig deeper, seek new and better solutions to my own challenges and ideas, and those of others
  • Others: Help others see the value in asking good questions, why curiosity is so valuable

Curiosity is a lot about questions. I ask a lot of questions. I love it, but not everyone does. Some people find it annoying. I’m not going to stop, and reactions to my questions can be a good gauge for a person’s own curiosity for life ;)

One song

My song for 2019: Somebody to Love, by Queen

Credit: Queen

The world is massively, and more than ever, in need of more love. Wherever in the world you go there is too much greed, ego, and self-interest. Far too little time and energy is spent looking outwards, seeing who needs help (and love), and acting on it.

I’ve been a big fan of Queen since the 80s (thanks Joanna Rossi), and the recent release of Bohemian Rhapsody re-kindled my love and appreciation of the talent (and curiosity) of Freddie Mercury and his band. They pushed boundaries, themselves, and their fans to new levels.

This year I will more consciously seek out people that I can share love to. Not necessarily long-term or deep love, but engage with people more to learn more about them, and find ways to share genuine love. Even if it’s sometimes simply just smiling, saying ‘hi’, or taking the time to sit down and genuinely listen to their story. #thesmallthingsleadtothebigwins

One purpose

My purpose for 2019: Help others enthusiastically and creatively see solutions

For 2019 I’m sticking with a purpose, rather than a resolution. Resolutions don’t have nearly the same impact, are often forgotten soon after, and are not something you actually live by.

Thanks to Simon Sinek for sharing with the masses (watch his TED Talk) that the purpose or the ‘why’ (of an organization or a person) is a very powerful and effective driver. I really wish I would have been exposed to this concept years ago while growing up, so I could have been continually refining my own purpose over the years. (But it’s definitely never too late to start!)

I’m retaining last year’s purpose for another year since I really like it’s simplicity, and it’s the best summary of who I am at the present. (I did add in the word ‘creatively’ this year, since although it is about enthusiastically pursuing solutions, it’s also about doing so in a creative way — both to further develop stellar solutions, but also because being creative is just more fun!)

Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Help: There is really nothing else in the world for me to do, other than to help others; It just feels right, and it’s highly rewarding, and also creates momentum and progress in myself and others
  • Others: Clients, teams, family, friends, strangers; People that recognize there is opportunity to do more with their lives and our future
  • Enthusiasm: The older I get, the absolutely more important enthusiasm becomes to me; Enthusiasm draws people out, encourages new perspectives, and ultimately changes lives; There is nothing better than sitting around with a bunch of enthusiastic people sharing ideas and dreams!
  • Creativity: Often a key ingredient to finding good solutions to challenges, whether they be personal or professional or corporate challenges; You’ve got to push boundaries and create new perspectives and approaches in order to ultimately find new solutions; So a real desire to innovate and explore ideas helps immensely when dreaming up game-changing solutions
  • See: Initially the word ‘find’ came to mind in relation to solutions, but the more I thought about it the more I realized it’s actually about first ‘seeing’ potential and possibility (since many people are resigned to thinking they’ve just got to do their best with the cards they’ve been dealt, rather than actively seeking a better way)
  • Solutions: These can vary widely and they don’t always have to be fully complete, vetted, or perfect (but prototyping and testing go a long way here); Ideas create excitement and momentum, as well as more ideas, which then lead to solutions that change perspectives, hearts, and minds, pushing our lives and the world forward
Credit: Corn Sky Wiki

So that’s it. Anything more complex takes away from the clarity and momentum.

So with a refined purpose, Freddie encouraging me (in a striking leotard), and childlike curiosity, 2019 is poised to be a deliciously rich year!

Join me.

Share your word, song, and purpose.

Or let’s talk about how to make 2019 the best year yet, for yourself, your team, or your organization.

Past years: 2018, 2017



David O'Hagan

On a mission to find: innovators, status quo crushers, culture builders, hungry creatives, and warm sandy beaches